Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Rewind NYC April 2013

Back in 2013 when I went to NYC/Florida I did a bit of a private food blog that I just shared with family & friends. I thought i'd share it with everyone on here as a "rewind" post. Please note that some photos on this page may also contain non Free From food that my husband ate. I've not re-written anything, it's been copied straight from Tumblr.

We were only in NYC for three days so we mainly ate snacks and went to quick service restaurants as we were really busy trying to fit everything in. 

Anyway, here goes...

British Airways did good :) I requested a “low lactose” meal and that’s what I got :) simple minted bean/pea salad for starters, very tasty (for a plane meal) poached fish with herb sauce and a soy milk rice pudding with pistachio :) *claps*

I had read about Chloe’s soft serve off Union Square on the Internet. Their soft serve is dairyfree/vegan. We both had a small tub of mixed flavours. I had banana and blueberry, lee had raspberry and chocolate. I really enjoyed it. Esp the banana. They are made from fruit, water and small amount of sweetener. Really nice and refreshing. Yum!

First stop in Union Square was the Whole Foods store. OMG!! when you look at things as much as I do on the Internet and then they are in front of you it’s so exciting :) I managed to pick up afew things I really wanted (newmans O’s: a DF and GF version of Oreos and the earth balance puffs) I’m yet to try them but I can’t wait. Also found afew other things like the Sweet & Sara stuff and some items I’d not heard of. I will up date you when I try them :) *i heart Wholefoods NY*

On the way back up to the hotel I’d found a place before arriving called Chipotle. Basically a fast food Mexican with almost all items being Dairyfree and Wheatfree. I had Corn Tacos with Rice, Chipotle chicken, tomato salsa and lettuce. Washed down with a root beer ( when in America eh?). Lee had a burrito bowl with rice, pinto beans, jalpeano chicken and cheese. We both really enjoyed it :) yum!

For something to eat before we went to the show tonight we stopped off on Maddison Ave at a place called 4Food. Another place I’d stalked out on the Internet and interested me because of the choices. I opted for a beef patty (they are donut shaped) you then choose a “scoop” which fits in the middle, i had edamame and any other toppings and sauces and finally the bread. I had a DF & WF grilled rice. It’s sticky sushi rice shaped as a bun and then grilled to crispen the outside. It was all very tasty.

They also made their own drinks so I had a Peach & Rosehip iced tea and lee had a Vanilla Soda. Both very nice.

Update on the snacks I brought from WF. The Earth Balance puffs are lovely. Not had a wotsit in years and these definitely would fill the gap. Yum. Also had the Sweet & Sara Rice Crispy square which was very good :) crispy, chewy and yummy :)

We’d both been very excited about visiting Katz Deli. The place had a great vibe inside with the walls covered in photos of famous visitors from over the years. We ordered the 3 Meat platter which came with bread and pickles. The platter consisted of Pastrami, Corned Beef and Brisket. All three meats were so tasty, juicy and tender. The best meat we’d ever eaten. Meaty heaven!

While down in the bottom of the East Side I managed to visit Babycakes NYC. As lots of my freefrom friends know it’s a very popular allergy friendly / vegan bakery. I had a slice of banana choc loaf cake with a choc chip cookie and lee had a Fruit & Cream Biscuit (like a scone). Lee had eaten his before I managed to get a photo. Both my items were very yummy but especially the Banana loaf. Cute little shop too.

Sampling another one of my treats. Mmm I can now enjoy a peanut butter cup while lee is eating his reeses. They were sooo nice.

A few interesting snacks we got free on the plane. Looking forward to the blue “potato chips” aka crisps.

We flew down to Orlando with Jet Blue airlines. 

Hope you enjoyed this little flashback? My next "Rewind" will be what I ate in Florida 2013.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Fishy Friday - The Jolly Fryer

There are lots of Fish & Chip shops in my area but finding one that sellings Dairy & Gluten Free Fish & Chips is like finding a needle in a haystack. I have noticed that on the few occasions I've had Fish & Chips in other places they haven't been clearly advertised, it's taken googling and research to find out about them. I'd love a lot more shops to advertise that they can safely cook for special diets. Just a little notice in the window would be a good start.

Anyway, I'd heard great things about a Fish & Chip shop in the next town that has great reviews and a massive local following. After browsing their Facebook page I noticed a few comments about gluten free Fish & Chips. Excitement set in. My husband was passing through the area so decided to pop in for our Friday tea. He's heard me ask all the questions before and I'm very proud that he asked about ingredients etc and even got shown the batter mix packaging (although couldn't remember the brand). He also noticed the great care that was taken to use separate utensils etc. He was impressed. I got home from work and was welcomed by the famous "whale" & chips. It was the biggest fish I have ever seen. It was coated in a lovely light crispy batter and the fish was succulent with big white flakes. The chips were really good too. It's so nice to be able to have a safe takeaway that other people just take for granted. Yum!

If you are ever in the area I'd highly recommend the Jolly Fryer - Kirkby in Ashfied. The owner has a real passion for great fish & chips and Its amazing that he's catering for special diets too. Big thumbs up!

Just to show the Jolly Fryer is consistently very good, we've been a few more times!
Valentine's Day Fish & Chips 

Monday night treat 

Saturday we decided to treat ourselves to a chippy lunch. Knowing it would be busy on a Saturday I called to order my fish & chips. Before I knew it I was being talked into a GF DF sausage. How could I turn down a chip shop sausage. Add it to the order! Theo the owner read out the ingredients to me to double check which was great. As we walked through the door it was being bagged up. The sausage was just how I remembered them. Yum! I think next time I'll ask for it to be battered too. Everything was so good. 

Enjoying a whale & chips in the sun today. 

Best Fish & Chips in the area!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Banana & Cacao Pancakes

This morning I fancied pancakes but didn't feel like mixing egg replacer and weighing out ingredients so I made these pancakes in a little bowl. It made 3 pancakes which is a perfect size for one.

1 Medium Ripe Banana
2 Heaped Tablespoons Doves Farm Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Raw Cacao Powder
3 Tablespoons Rice Milk
Oil of choice for frying. I used Cocoa Butter.

Mash the banana in a bowl until reasonable smooth but with a few lumps. 
Add the flour & Cacao and mix.
Add the Rice milk until a batter consistency is created.
Melt a small amount of oil in a frying pan and spoon the mixture into the pan spreading into rounds with the back of your spoon.
Fry both sides until golden.
I dusted mine with more raw cacao powder and a drizzle of maple syrup. They have just the right amount of sweetness to allow some sweet toppings ;)

Happy Saturday Freefromers!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Vegan & Gluten Free Tuck Box

I'd spotted some goodies that kept popping up on my Twitter feed sold by The Vegan Tuck Box. The company has an online shop selling various monthly subscription boxes (all vegan with a gluten free option). They also sell some products separately. I thought I'd give it a try with a January discount code. I already have a monthly chocolate subscription box so before diving in with another I thought I'd order a one off mini version.

I ordered the Mini Gluten Free Vegan Tuck Box which contains 5 sweet and savoury items. 

This month it has the following items:
Retro Corn - Popcorn dusted in crushed candy.
Plantain Chips - Chilli flavour
Tamari Soy Snacks - Tamari Roasted Soybeans
Beond Bar - Baobab Pineapple Bar
Vego Chocolate - Hazelnut Chocolate

I'm not going to lie I let out a little scream when I saw the Vego bar as its one of my faves. The other items I wouldn't have particularly picked myself so I'm looking forward to trying them all. Afterall these boxes are made to enable us to try new things. It's especially good if you haven't got a great choice of alternative and health food stores nearby. 

While ordering the box I spotted a few extra products I knew I wanted to try. I ordered the No Whey, No No's and Peanot Cups. I have never seen these anywhere else. They aren't cheap and they are small packets but they are all damn good! America does it again with fab free from goodies. I also popped a choc mint hot chocolate spoon in my basket (it is hot chocolate weather after all).

Overall I was really happy with my delivery and I'll most likely try another box in the future. I'd also order separate items from them again.  It's worth checking out the website if you fancy a monthly surprise box of treats or just a one off. 

I loved all the chocolates I purchased. The No Wheys are a great alternative to a Mars bar. The packets just need to be bigger. The No No's surprised me with the marshmallow centres but really nice. Also loved the Peanot cups, great alternative to a Reeses cup, yum!
It didn't click until I went to open the packet of RetroCorn that it was Cola Cube flavoured and it was great, different but great. 
I really liked the tamari soy snacks too, nice and crunchy with a dry roasted flavour. 
The pineapple bar was a nice mid morning snack. A bit like a Nakd bar. 
I'm still to try the plantain chips.

February Box
This month I decided to try the full sized Gluten Free Vegan Box. I was not disappointed :) again I also ordered a few additional items that I fancied trying.

I loved all the sweet items I received in the box. The chocolate orange frogs from Cocoalibre were especially good. The Peanot No No's were nice but not what I expected. They were more like a crispy shell with a white chocolate centre, there was no brown chocolate layer. The lemon creams were nice but not something I'd buy again, I much prefer orange or mint creams. 
I loved the Karkli snacks, I'd definetly buy them again. They didn't last long. I really didn't like the seaweed stick thing. It was a bit of an acquired taste. Not for me. I'm still to try the raw biscuits and the soypresso. 
Overall was really happy with the box and really enjoyed trying all the items. 

In addition to the box I also ordered the Strawberry & Cream Retro Corn which I love. Also tried the vegan cream egg which was nice and the thumbs up bar which was really nice. It's just a shame that vegan chocolates are so expensive but I don't mind if it's a treat every now and then :)

March box
Another fab box this month. Was very excited to see the Cashew Milk. I'd tried Cashew milk while in the USA last year and I loved it. Can't wait to try this one. I love Ten Acre crisps (as you'll see in the other photo I ordered extras). They are all Vegan and Gluten Free and come in fab flavours. The Yummy Scrummy raw brownie and the hazelnut cookie were both delicious. I thought the packet of the Emily Fruit Crisps was so pretty, the crisps made a nice change too. I've had the Beyond Dark choc chips from Sainsburys and they are great for nibbling or adding to baking so they will come in handy. I'm yet to try the other items but it was a great interesting box.

I ordered a few extras. The Cheese & Onion Ten Acre Crisps are amazing. You don't often come across good "cheese" flavoured dairy free products but these tick the box. I also wanted to try the Foods of Athenry Blondie Shots as I love the chocolate shots they do. These reminded me of shortbread and I really enjoyed them. Think the chocolate ones are still my favourite though.